"For those eager to enjoy a vivid journey to this majestic inland sea, A View of the Lake
is a splendid introduction" --Emilie Buchwald, publisher emeritus, Milkweed editions
"At once evocative, calming and deeply spiritual, Bissell's writing is something to be treasured."--Alison McGhee, Pulitzer Prize nominee and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author
"Beryl's personal story of life before the Lake, and the solace the Lake provides, are woven throughout, but the people of Lake Superior are her real subject." --Catherine Watson, author of Roads Less Traveled
and Home on the Road
"Like collecting stones along the Big Lake's rugged shoreline, [her stories] are so beautiful you can't help but pick them up and refuse to let them go." --Chuck Frederick, author of Leatherheads of the North
From the Author
Thirteen years ago, my husband and I arrived on the North Shore having no idea of what life in that place entailed. While focusing first on the trials that beset us after our impulsive move, A View of the Lake becomes more reflective as the Lake became, as it were, my mentor. We'd arrived driving our SUVs, thinking that our only deprivations would be access to nearby groceries and Mr. Movies, but one does not live year-round on Lake Superior without noting the effects lifestyles such as ours have on the environment. Thus it was that A view of the Lake became a chronicle of how we learned to live on the North Shore, a "we came for the view but we stay because of the place" experience.
Culled from hundreds of pages of journal notes, my weekly "Newcomer Notes" columns in the Cook County News Herald and daily logs, A View of the Lake comprises the essence of our experience on the Big Lake. Ours is not a back-to-the-land story. We have running water and electricity and heat our home with propane. It is, rather, a narrative of two ordinary lives transposed into an extraordinary setting where nature and a small community became our teachers: An experience replicated wherever people encounter an environment so profuse with wonders that one wants never again to take them for granted.
Like deep breathing, writing A View of the Lake nourished me between my first published memoir The Scent of God and its sequel, Looking for Francesca on which I've been working for the past 7 years and which is still in process. For the joy of this experience, I am deeply grateful. I hope you will enjoy reading A View of the Lake as much as I enjoyed writing it.
--This text refers to an alternate